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Myths & Facts About Ringworm

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Myth 8: A flaky scalp is probably dandruff, not ringworm

Not necessarily. Sometimes ringworm of the scalp doesn't produce the signature ring. Instead, the skin becomes scaly and flaky, much like dandruff.  

Myth 9: Only the infected person needs to be treated for ringworm

Because ringworm is so contagious, other people in the household may also need to be treated -- even if they don't have any symptoms. If there's a chance they may have picked up ringworm of the scalp, they may need to use a special shampoo and be examined to determine if there is an infection. 

Myth 10: Ringworm is treated with antibiotics

Antibiotics kill bacteria. They won't work on ringworm, which is caused by a fungus. Ringworm is treated with antifungal medicines that you either rub on the skin or take by mouth. Ringworm of the scalp is treated with a special shampoo and an oral antifungal medicine. You may have to keep using whatever medicine you're prescribed for several weeks to fully get rid of the infection. 

Myth 11: Once you get ringworm, you can't catch it again

It's common to get infected again, especially with ringworm of the nails.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on April 13, 2014

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